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TWiM 134 Letters

Nathan writes:
Dear Vincent, Elio, Michele & Michael,
 
Thank you all for the wonderful podcast!  It’s a great gift to humanity and science communication.  It would be great if you could discuss the really interesting paper by Din et al recen... Read More

Zika virus, like all other viruses, is mutating

Not long after the appearance of an outbreak of viral disease, first scientists, and then newswriters, blame it all on mutation of the virus. It happened during the Ebolavirus outbreak in West Africa, and now it’s happening with Zika virus.

The latest example is by parasitologist Peter Hotez,... Read More

Zika virus infects human neural stem cells

The Zika virus infects a type of neural stem cell that gives rise to the brain's cerebral cortex, Johns Hopkins and Florida State researchers report March 4 in Cell Stem Cell. On laboratory dishes, these stem cells were found to be havens for viral reproduction, resulting in cell death and/or di... Read More

Famous Ancient Iceman Had Familiar Stomach Infection

Researchers have extracted the oldest complete genome sequence of a pathogen yet, from the body of the 5,300-year-old ice mummy Ötzi.

According to a January 7 paper in Science, the ‘Iceman’ was infected with the bacteriumHelicobacter pylori, which also plagues modern humans.

Few corpses h... Read More

Magnetotactic bacteria remove and recover rare elements

While our human biochemical reactions are limited, our ingenuity is not, and scientists are able to exploit microbes for our benefit, such as in chemical spills. Using microbes to degrade or sequester toxic molecules is one form of bioremediation, and has many various applications. Famously, sci... Read More

Catching Ebola virus in the act of fusion

Since the first outbreak of Ebola virus in 1976, the frequency and scale of the deadly disease’s outbreaks have increased. The 2014-2015 outbreak in West Africa caused 11,000 deaths, precipitated panic at airports and emergency rooms worldwide, and renewed the urgency to find cures.


Kartik ... Read More

Fungus causing fatal infections in hospitalized patients has unique growth patterns

One of the important tasks of Public Health England’s Mycology Reference Laboratory is to identify any newly emerging fungal pathogens that could become a public health risk. In recent months, the lab had tracked several clusters of Candida auris infections in British hospitals. The multidrug-re... Read More

Mayo researchers identify new Borrelia species that causes Lyme disease

Rochester, Minn. -- Mayo Clinic researchers, in collaboration with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and health officials from Minnesota, North Dakota and Wisconsin, have discovered a new bacterial species that causes Lyme disease in people. The new species has been provisiona... Read More

A role for siderophores in Klebsiella pneumoniae pathogenesis

Despite increasing awareness of Klebsiella pneumoniae as a public health risk, there has been relatively little understood about its mechanisms of pathogenesis.

The bacterium, estimated to be the third most common cause of hospital-acquired infections in the United States in a recent study, c... Read More

Prime-boost H7N9 influenza vaccine concept promising in clinical trial

In clinical trials, several candidate H7N9 pandemic influenza vaccines made from inactivated viruses have been shown to be safe and to generate an immune response. However, scientists believe for practical use, these potential vaccines would require multiple doses or the addition of adjuvants, w... Read More

Early-life bacterial colonizers may influence later development of asthma

This past weekend, I went to visit a friend and meet his twin toddler boys for the first time. Though both boys eagerly ran around the playground we visited, one was just slightly less active. “He has asthma,” his dad explained to me, “but his brother doesn’t.” Why would two boys with the same e... Read More

TWiV 405: All the world's a phage

The TWiXers discuss a study on vertical transmission of Zika virus by Aedes mosquitoes, and uncovering Earth's virome by mining existing metagenomic sequence data.


Hosts: Vincent Rac... Read More

CDC confirms Zika virus does cause microcephaly

For the first time, US disease experts have agreed that the mosquito-borne Zika virus does indeed cause babies to be born with abnormally small heads — a condition known as microcephaly. Until now, the two conditions were linked — but experts didn’t know for sure if Zika caused the brain-damaged... Read More

Diverse fungi inhabit chronic wounds and inhibit healing

Gruesome, ghastly, grisly. These are the words that popped into my head when I googled images of diabetic foot ulcers—one of the most common chronic wounds creating a silent and costly epidemic in healthcare.

Perhaps even more shocking is the mortality rate connected to these open wounds, wh... Read More

TWiP 116: One drug to rule them all

The TWiPtoids solve the case of the Thai Fisherman with Chronic Diarrhea, and reveal a potential new drug for treatment of leishmaniasis, Chagas diseases, and sleeping sickness.


Hosts: Vincent Racaniel... Read More

Why do some infections persist? Blame bacterial socialism, says new study

New research to be published January 13 in the journal Scientific Reports shows that some bacterial cultures adopt an all-for-one/one-for-all strategy that would make a socialist proud in preparing for the possibility of an antibiotic onslaught. Read More

Hepatitis C tied to increased risk of Parkinson's

MINNEAPOLIS - The hepatitis C virus may be associated with an increased risk of developing Parkinson's disease, according to a study published in the December 23, 2015, online issue of Neurology®, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology. Parkinson's disease is considered the sec... Read More

TWiV 388: What could possibly go wrong?

Hosts: Vincent RacanielloDickson DespommierAlan Dove, and  Read More

Novel Herpes Virus Isolated from Bat Cells

Washington, DC – February 17, 2016 – Researchers from Maryland and New York have identified a novel herpes virus in cells taken from a bat. The work, published this week in mSphere, the American Society for Microbiology’s new open access journal, could lead to better understanding of the biology... Read More

Why flu is worse in eldery ?

Death from influenza virus in older people may be primarily caused by a damaging immune response to flu and not by the virus itself, new research suggests.

Ninety percent of the deaths attributed to flu each year worldwide occur in people aged 65 and older. To understand why older adults are ... Read More
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